All too often, military veterans come home from serving our country and end up in the criminal court system. There are a myriad of reasons for this, including a lack of services and resources for veterans returning home from war. Fortunately, there are initiatives and people working to address housing, medical, mental health and other issues facing these vets, which will decrease the number who end up criminally charged. The Valor Act is a great first step in addressing veterans who are first-time offenders. Certain individual courts have created similar programs as well, although more needs to be done. Until then, the court system is not always equipped to appropriately handle these criminal cases without the advocacy of a dedicated criminal defense lawyer.
I’ve had a number of successful outcomes advocating for clients utilizing the Valor Act in courts in Boston and as far west as Greenfield, MA. The complexities of the Valor Act are often misunderstood by judges and other court staff. Prosecutors regularly argue against diversion under the Valor Act, and fighting back requires the expertise of a criminal defense attorney familiar with the nuances of the law. The law was enacted to acknowledge the great sacrifices of our veterans, and with an understanding of the struggles faced by those who have bravely defended our freedom, when they return home.
As a Boston criminal defense attorney, I am able to advocate for veterans who find themselves facing criminal charges here in Massachusetts. Just as these veterans defended our freedom, I work hard to protect their constitutional rights within our criminal justice system. My motivation stems in part from the fact that several of my family members have served in the military, including two older brothers who fought in the Gulf War. I’ve also taken great satisfaction in donating my time to Shelter Legal Services (now Veterans Legal Services), an organization that gives free legal (non-criminal) advice to low-income and homeless veterans.
If you or a family member are facing criminal charges in Massachusetts, and are looking for an attorney with experience helping veterans, contact me today at (617) 657-4464 for a free phone consultation.